Despite saying last year that the individual mandate is not a tax, the Obama Administration is arguing the opposite as it defends ObamaCare in federal court:
When Congress required most Americans to obtainor pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”
And that power, they say, is even more sweeping than the federal power to regulate interstate commerce.
Administration officials say the tax argument is a linchpin of their legal case in defense of the health care overhaul and its individual mandate, now being challenged in court by more than 20 states and several private organizations.
Under the legislation signed byin March, most Americans will have to maintain “minimum essential coverage” starting in 2014. Many people will be eligible for federal subsidies to help them pay premiums.
In a brief defending the law, the Justice Department says the requirement for people to carry insurance or pay the penalty is “a valid exercise” of Congress’s power to impose taxes.
Here is what President Barack Obama said last year:
James Carville, a Democratic strategist who is known for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns, apparently likes what he sees from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), though he doesn’t agree with him on politics.
During the roundtable on ABC’s This Week, Carville said Cruz is the “most talented and fearless politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years.” While he didn’t specifically mention Ronald Reagan’s name, that is inferred from the comments made.
“People love Ted Cruz because he’s taken on his own party, his own leadership, he’s taken on the other party,” explained Jim DeMint, a former Senator turned President of the Heritage Foundation. “He’s trying to rock the boat to get us to stop moving towards this cliff we’re heading for as a country. I’ve been in about 25 cities in the last few months. All you have to do is mention Ted Cruz and people get on their feet.”
“I think he is the most talented and fearless Republican politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years,” added Carville. “I further think that he’s going to run for president and he is going to create something. I’m not sitting here saying he’s going to win, and I think Senator DeMint is right. I’ve listened to excerpts of his speech in South Carolina, he touches every button. And this guy has no fear. He just keeps plowing ahead. And he is going to be something to watch.”
Carville wasn’t done there. When discussing debates for the Republican presidential nomination, Mary Matlin explained that the dynamics could be interesting, to which Carville said, “And I’m telling you, get in there, Ted Cruz is going to each their lunch,” adding later that he doesn’t agree with him on policy or politics.
As you know, Herman Cain suspended his campaign on Saturday, effectively ending his bid for the Republican nomination and the strange ordeal that he put his family through. Many are wondering what is next for Cain, whether he’ll go on to form a PAC and/or endorse another candidate in the race. Both seem likely, and we already know which way Cain is leaning (and it’s not a surprise):
A top Cain adviser tells us the former candidate plans to endorse in the next few weeks – certainly this month, in order to affect the Iowa caucuses – and is most likely to go Gingrich. They have a personal relationship that goes back to Gingrich’s days as Speaker, a much longer relationship than Cain has with any of the others. And they disagree on few issues. Cain can offer some Iowa organization and his power as a surrogate in the African-American community (including churches), a weakness for the GOP.
Despite his potential to be a “kingmaker,” some conservatives are taking issue with Cain. Over at the National Review, Rich Lowery very pointedly says that Cain should give back money he received from donors. Some of you may say that this isn’t a big deal, but it has been noted that since Cain hasn’t formally ended his campaign, merely suspended it, he would still qualify for federal matching funds, which he may be able to transfer to whatever PAC he creates with leftover campaign dollars.
With some Republicans seeking the party’s presidential nomination expressing caution on international affairs, warmongers are beginning to speak out; including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who derided “isolationism” in the GOP field in an appearance on This Week:
I was more concerned about what the candidates in New Hampshire the other night said. This is isolationism. There’s always been an … isolation strain on the Republican Party — that Pat Buchanan wing of our party. But now it seems to have moved more center stage, so to speak. … If we had not intervened, Gadhafi was at the gates of Benghazi. He said he was going to go house to house to kill everybody. That’s a city of 700,000 people. What would be saying now if we had allowed for that to happen?”
McCain is, of course, playing the part of demagogue. Not one candidate in the GOP field is pushing for isolationism; even Ron Paul. Isolationism means completely cutting yourself off from the international community, including trade or enacting protectionist measures. No one wants to do that. Merely expressing skepticism in going to war is simply not “isolationism.” But sadly, McCain is not alone. Separately, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also recently slammed Mitt Romney for expressing the view that it is time to withdraw from Afghanistan.
At the Washington Post, George Will criticized intervention in Libya and hits back at politicians like McCain:
Senator-Elect Rand Paul was on ABC’s This Week yesterday, here’s the full interview: